Dr. Kim Watters, Choral Director at Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Georgia, has been named the 2023 Music Educator of the Year by the International Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). The BHS/NAfME Music Educator of the Year award recognizes excellence in teaching, performing, and the lifelong impact music teachers make on young singers. “In partnership and collaboration with the National Association for Music Education, the Barbershop Harmony Society presents an annual award to honor educators who give students the opportunity to learn and participate in the joy and power that music brings in uplifting the human spirit and fostering the well-being of society,” states the Barbershop Harmony Society.
The announcement came during the send-off concert for Georgia Spirit, a BHS youth choir Dr. Watters co-directs with Marietta High School’s Lars Grevstad. “My heart bursts with gratitude to James and Barbara Moore for introducing me to the craft [of barbershop] and always being there to support us, to Clay and Becky Hine for continually teaching me and my students all the wonderful things barbershop has to offer, and to my dear friend Lars Grevstad who pours so much of his talents into our Georgia Spirit team,” wrote Dr. Watters as she reflected on the award Sunday evening.
Dr. Watters accompanied Georgia Spirit to the National Barbershop Harmony Society Convention in Daytona Beach, Florida later that week as they competed in the NextGen Junior Chorus contest. Georgia Spirit was ranked outstanding by BHS judges and was voted 2nd for the people's choice award. Gordon Central High School also had a junior quartet competing at this year’s convention, where they came in 4th in the competition. Students from both of these groups were the featured performers for the Donor's Reception held at the convention.
Upon returning from the BHS Convention, Dr. Watters was recognized by the Gordon County Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting.